Who: North Carolina Courage vs. Kansas City
When: Sunday, September 5 at 6 p.m. CT
Where: Legends Stadium, Kansas City, KS
Listen: Sports Radio 810 WHB
KC NWSL (2-11-4, 10 pts) host the North Carolina Courage (8-4-4, 28 pts) in their third meeting of the season. The two clubs drew 0-0 in July in Kansas City and in August, the Courage won 4-0 at home.
Kansas City will be looking to extend a two-game home winning streak. Manager Huw Williams squad beat Racing Louisville 2-1 on August 25th and OL Reign 1-0 on August 14th. The Courage are undefeated in their last six with three wins and three draw and only giving up one goal in that streak.
The two teams have a familiarity beyond the two matches they played. Kansas City and the Courage made a huge trade right before their first match. Kansas City received three players, Kristen Hamilton, Hailie Mace and Katelyn Rowland in exchange for Amy Rodriguez. Hamilton and Mace have played the majority of minutes on the front line since coming to Kansas City and Hamilton had the winning goal in the win over Louisville.
Kansas City is at their healthiest they have been in weeks and have all of their players that were at the Olympics available. Captain Rachel Corsie is off the injury report and could give their back line a much-needed boost in experience after missing a few games.
OUT: Jaycie Johnson (left lower leg), Jordyn Listro (right thigh), Arielle Ship (right lower leg-SEI)
QUESTIONABLE: Taylor Leach (left foot)
North Carolina Courage:
OUT: Diane Caldwell (right hip), Abby Erceg (right hip), Hailey Harbison (left knee), Peyton Perea (right foot)
QUESTIONABLE: Denise O’Sullivan (left groin)
Keys to the game for Kansas City:
It is simple but not easy, Kansas City needs to be better on both ends of the field. KC has looked better the last few weeks, especially at home but even on the road at North Carolina they looked like the better team for most of the game. The problem was nearly every mistake they made was punished by a goal.
Kristin Edmonds has been pressed into duty as a centerback and does not have the natural instincts in that spot. With Corsie off the injury report, Edmonds can be better utilized as an outside back or winger depth.
Also with Desiree Scott, Katie Bowen and Chloe Logarzo back from the Olympic, manager Huw Williams will have the possibility of a stronger midfield that can shield the backline better.
On the other end of the field, Kansas City needs to be more clinical and finish their chances. In their last meeting, Kansas City outshot the Courage 26-9 (9-7 on goal) but could not finish.
Kansas City does not have a star scoring threat so they need the collective to be better and create chances that are higher percentage.
So the recipe is simple, play better defense and score more...